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First look: Apple's new 11 and 13 inch Thunderbolt MacBook Air

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Apple's new Thunderbolt-enhanced, fourth generation MacBook Air models upgrade the company's light and thin notebook category with new high-speed connectivity; faster, more powerful Core i5 and i7 processors; faster RAM; larger SSD options, support for Bluetooth 4.0 and a new backlit keyboard.

In with the new

The new Thunderbolt MacBook Air models now join Apple's MacBook Pro line in adopting Intel Core i5 and i7 processors rather than previous generations which used Core 2 Duo chips connected to a Nvidia-designed controller with integrated graphics. This shift, along with the faster 133MHz DDR3 RAM bus (up from 1066MHz DDR3 RAM in use on the Airs since late 2008) enables the new machines to hit benchmarks more than twice as fast as the previous generation.



The use of Intel's Core i5/i7 architecture also puts memory management and other features formerly handled by a separate Nvidia controller chip on the CPU itself, and necessitates that Apple use Intel's own integrated graphics. The new MacBook Airs both use Intel's HD Graphics 3000 chip using shared system RAM rather than the former Nvidia GeForce 320M with its 256 MB of dedicated DDR3 SDRAM on previous Core 2 Duo machines. AppleInsider will publish full graphics benchmarks in our complete review to determine how this architecture change affects performance.

Two other new embellishments to the MacBook Air line include its standard new backlit keyboard, which first appeared on the original MacBook Air but was dropped last year when the line plummeted from a ritzy priced ultralight notebook to being Apple's entry level notebook starting at just $999. The latest models retain the same lower pricing but add back the backlit keyboard feature.

The other feature is new to the MacBook Air and Apple's Mac product line in general: Bluetooth 4.0, which debuted on the Air and the simultaneously released Mac mini. Bluetooth 4.0 replaces "Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR," adding support for new very low energy devices that are designed to run from a small battery.



On page 2 of 3: Expanded options.

Expanded options

In other respects, the 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air models haven't changed a lot, with the lighter, smaller model offering a few weaker aspects than its larger 13 inch sibling: a slightly slower CPU, smaller SSD options, and a lower resolution screen. However, the 11 inch model packs a resolution that is roughly the same as the existing 13 inch MacBook and MacBook Pro: 1366x768 vs their conventional "13 inch resolution" of 1280x800. Additionally, Apple now lets users who opt for the smaller form factor to select custom options that provide the same high end Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD options available for the larger 13 inch model. Last year, the 11 inch Air was limited to a lower speed CPU and maxed out at a 128 GB SSD, forcing buyers to choose between performance and size.

The 13 inch model still exclusively offers a larger screen of course, boasting a "15 inch resolution" of 1440x900, the same as the 15 inch MacBook Pro, packed into its 13.3 inch display (although the latest 15 inch MacBook Pro now offers a higher resolution, 1680x1050 option).

This makes the 13 inch MacBook Air very competitive with the entry level MacBook and 13" MacBook Pro and a good general purpose notebook machine, although it lacks fast Ethernet (it's intended primarily for use on wireless networks, and uses the same, separately sold 10/100 Ethernet dongle as the previous MacBook Air).

Both Airs also have no FireWire, no optical drive, supply less disk storage (due to exclusively using a fast SSD) and RAM (many Air models ship with a paltry 2GB, and they can only be upgraded as a build to order option for a max of 4GB; you can't add RAM after your initial purchase, as the memory chips are soldered into the logic board. Most other MacBook models can now accommodate a max of 8GB.)

However, with Apple's new adoption of Intel's Thunderbolt technology, which essentially makes a processor-direct PCI Express interface available externally, MacBook Air users can now plug their light, highly mobile notebooks into a device like the company's new Thunderbolt Display, which provides additional USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt and Gigabit Ethernet ports via a single Thunderbolt connection to the notebook. This opens up the thin and light Air category to a wider class of users who would otherwise need to buy a MacBook Pro just for connectivity.

The only obvious physical difference presented by the Thunderbolt port is that the MiniDisplay Port jack now has a Thunderbolt icon next to it. Other interfaces are identical to the previous model year's MacBook Airs.




This added connectivity for the MacBook Air also helps further differentiate it from the iPad, which sports a screen similar to the 11 inch Air while lacking its keyboard. With Thunderbolt, the Air is firmly positioned in a more powerful, flexible tier of computing than the handheld iPad (shown below next to the 11 inch Air and also between the 13 and 11 inch Air.




On page 3 of 3: Unboxing the Thunderbolt Air.

Unboxing the Thunderbolt Air

Both MacBook Air models are feather light, but slightly heavier than last year. The 11 inch model is now 2.38 lb (1.08 kg) rather than 2.3 lb (1.04 kg), while the 13 inch Air is now 2.96 lb (1.34 kg) versus 2.9 lb (1.32 kg).

The Air models continue to keep the weight down by not including an optical drive, which Apple is working to make increasingly less important both by pushing movies toward digital downloads and rentals and the new effort to push digital downloads of software through the Mac App Store.



The first generation of MacBook Airs offered an external optical drive but recommended use of then-new Disc Sharing feature for network-based installations of software from DVD. Last year, Apple began providing recovery software on a solid state flash RAM dongle (see below).

This year, even that is gone, thanks to the standard new recovery partition created by Mac OS X Lion, which reserves a small portion of the internal drive for recovery uses.




All that's left inside the box is a Apple MagSafe power supply (your existing ones will work as well), and the usual regulatory notifications, Apple stickers, and mini-manual booklet.



Save when buying

The new MacBook Airs began making their way to Apple stores and authorized over the last 24 hours. Readers in the market for one of the notebooks can check out AppleInsider's Mac Pricing Guide (also below), where MacMall is already offering readers an additional 3% discount off its already reduced MacBook Air (and MacBook Pro) prices. The discount is instant when using the links below but available only when placing orders on line -- you do not need to call MacMall to place a pre-order. Orders placed online will ship as soon as the reseller receives stock from Apple. Currently, the low-end 11.6" and high-end 13.3" models are in stock with the other models arriving to ship Monday.

post #2 of 79
As first looked by Apple Insider on July 23rd!
post #3 of 79
I dont like the no recovery media part... that should be included even if it isnt "cool" or whatever and it couldnt cost more than $2-3$ -- what if the internal drive fails? what if the user wants to wipe and reload before sale (and when I say wipe and reload, i dont mean just blast an image on from a recovery partition. What I mean is use a program like DBAN to wipe the entire disk to DoD spec as I do when selling old gear or even giving it to family)


I expect no media or some crappy DIY solution when I am buying a $300 netbook, I do not expect this from Apples pricey ultra portable line.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #4 of 79
That USB drive looks like it says '10.6' on it. Isn't Lion 10.7?
post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

That USB drive looks like it says '10.6' on it. Isn't Lion 10.7?

Because that is a photograph for the 2010 MBA and its Restore USB drive, as it is gone from the 2011 MBA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



The first generation of MacBook Airs offered an external optical drive but recommended use of then-new Disc Sharing feature for network-based installations of software from DVD. Last year, Apple began providing recovery software on a solid state flash RAM dongle (see below).

This year, even that is gone, thanks to the standard new recovery partition created by Mac OS X Lion, which reserves a small portion of the internal drive for recovery uses.




All that's left inside the box is a Apple MagSafe power supply (your existing ones will work as well), and the usual regulatory notifications, Apple stickers, and mini-manual booklet.
post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

That USB drive looks like it says '10.6' on it.

It does. The copyright information also says 2010; it's just a rehash of an image they already had from the last set of MacBook Airs.

Quote:
Isn't Lion 10.7?

Yes.
post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

I dont like the no recovery media part... that should be included even if it isnt "cool" or whatever and it couldnt cost more than $2-3$ -- what if the internal drive fails? what if the user wants to wipe and reload before sale (and when I say wipe and reload, i dont mean just blast an image on from a recovery partition. What I mean is use a program like DBAN to wipe the entire disk to DoD spec as I do when selling old gear or even giving it to family) ....

I think you are forgetting that computers are multi-function devices that aim to please a lot of folks.

Deriding it for not fitting into a workflow as arcane and obscure as yours is not really fair. Do most people worry about CIA level security on their computers? No. Are most people paranoid enough to do what you do with the wiping etc.? No.

Almost no one else would have a problem with the way in which the OS goes on the disc or the wiping and re-install options. Your an extreme "edge-case" at best and there are easy ways to do what you want anyway.
post #8 of 79
" This shift, along with the faster 133MHz DDR3 RAM bus (up from 1066MHz DDR3 RAM in use on the Airs since late 2008)"

That should read 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM

As first Reported (TM) by me on AppleInsider on July 23rd 2011
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you are forgetting that computers are multi-function devices that aim to please a lot of folks.

Deriding it for not fitting into a workflow as arcane and obscure as yours is not really fair. Do most people worry about CIA level security on their computers? No. Are most people paranoid enough to do what you do with the wiping etc.? No.

Almost no one else would have a problem with the way in which the OS goes on the disc or the wiping and re-install options. Your an extreme "edge-case" at best and there are easy ways to do what you want anyway.

OK, my workflow may be out of date or not the same thing that the kids are doing, but the fact is, a certain percentage of hard disks (solid or spinning) will fail at some point...if my relative/friend/coworker/client needs a disk replaced, how do I do that on a Mac now? On Windows PCs even without included restore media, its rather easy for the proverbial "neighborhood techie" to fix, just slap in any Windows media that matches the license tag on the device, install and use the key found on the label to activate...

Also, even non archane workflows may get worms viruses spyware or whatever and generally when cleaning up from that, the last thing you should use is a restore partition -- the bad ware could have jumped to that, just like it can jump accross to infect boot sectors or EFI if it were sophisticated enough. Just because Macs have been safe now doesnt mean anything for the future -- just look at the last few months, Apple for the first time I can remember faced crapware head on, didnt deny it or blame the dumbass users who ran the executibles from unknown sites, they just fixed it for them...some of these will not be fixable without reinstall at some point and this move away from media makes that hard to do. Furthermore, once a computer is compromised with unknown software, it really cant ever be assumed secure again untill; the entire drive, all partitions, are wiped and completely reloaded from nothing.

Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

I dont like the no recovery media part... that should be included even if it isnt "cool" or whatever and it couldnt cost more than $2-3$ -- what if the internal drive fails? what if the user wants to wipe and reload before sale (and when I say wipe and reload, i dont mean just blast an image on from a recovery partition. What I mean is use a program like DBAN to wipe the entire disk to DoD spec as I do when selling old gear or even giving it to family)


I expect no media or some crappy DIY solution when I am buying a $300 netbook, I do not expect this from Apples pricey ultra portable line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you are forgetting that computers are multi-function devices that aim to please a lot of folks.

Deriding it for not fitting into a workflow as arcane and obscure as yours is not really fair. Do most people worry about CIA level security on their computers? No. Are most people paranoid enough to do what you do with the wiping etc.? No.

Almost no one else would have a problem with the way in which the OS goes on the disc or the wiping and re-install options. Your an extreme "edge-case" at best and there are easy ways to do what you want anyway.

I tend to agree with the former. I suppose anything on physical media is becoming irrelevant nowadays, but I would have appreciated (at least on build-to-order) an option to include it. Usually the first thing I do on a new Mac is wipe it out a couple times to test the re-install process. Since I'm purchasing Lion for my 2009 i7 iMac, I'll just make a boot disk when I download it. I'll wait and see as to how much actual space the recovery partition is. 256GB is not much in the big picture.

I just placed my order for the new i7 MBA and a couple things about the new model raises my eyebrow. The lack of physical recovery media, and the integrated graphics using a portion of the valuable 4GB system ram. I use my current 2010 MBA religiously at the office to run both OSX and Windows 7 (via VMWare) and using system ram is not cool. I'll save my judgement until I have a chance to test my current MBA alongside my new MBA with the same configuration.

So far, the reviews look great. I hope my concerns are unwarranted. It should arrive by the end of the week so hopefully, graphics reviews will be positive. I do love the NVidia performance of my current MBA and hope the new one is just as good.
post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

OK, my workflow may be out of date or not the same thing that the kids are doing, but the fact is, a certain percentage of hard disks (solid or spinning) will fail at some point...if my relative/friend/coworker/client needs a disk replaced, how do I do that on a Mac now? On Windows PCs even without included restore media, its rather easy for the proverbial "neighborhood techie" to fix, just slap in any Windows media that matches the license tag on the device, install and use the key found on the label to activate...

Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...

Well, I suppose you could buy an external USB hard drive, you know, like you'd use for backup, and clone the internal drive to it. Then start the MacBook Air from it, run Disk Utility and use that to ZERO the internal SSD drive. Shutdown, disconnect external drive, restart, and restore the base condition from the recovery partition and an ethernet connection.

Is that too complicated ?
iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini
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iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini
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post #12 of 79
Some SSD/storage specific benchmarks and Turbo Boost/hyperthreading tests for the full review would be nice.
post #13 of 79
" use Intel's HD Graphics 3000 chip using shared system RAM rather than the former Nvidia GeForce 320M with its 256 MB of dedicated DDR3 SDRAM "

Incorrect, the 320M also used shared system RAM.
post #14 of 79
Very bad in fact.

First; hidden part ions can be exploited by virus writers. Second; drives fail. Third; it wastes space p, especially on AIRs where space is extremely limited.

Supposedly this gives the machine the ability to restore right over the Internet. OK; so what do you do if the partition on the drive isn't restorable? Yeah I know sometimes it is but a un repairable drive is not uncommon.

From Apples standpoint I can see some positives. For one it allows a restore even if the user doesn't have his dongle with him. Let's have a show of hands - how many know where their USB key is right now?

Apple could easily address this by simply offering a utility to build a recovery drive on a USB dongle or an SD card.
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

I dont like the no recovery media part... that should be included even if it isnt "cool" or whatever and it couldnt cost more than $2-3$ -- what if the internal drive fails? what if the user wants to wipe and reload before sale (and when I say wipe and reload, i dont mean just blast an image on from a recovery partition. What I mean is use a program like DBAN to wipe the entire disk to DoD spec as I do when selling old gear or even giving it to family)


I expect no media or some crappy DIY solution when I am buying a $300 netbook, I do not expect this from Apples pricey ultra portable line.

While I understand your complaint, it is not hard to "fix".

After downloading Lion I copied a bootable version to a external hard drive. It's bootable and faster then a cd-rom. Also I created a bootable Cd as well. Considering the download took two hours what was another 10 minutes to burn a disk? Putting a copy on a usb stick is not hard either.

Another option is to run Carbon Copy Cloner first thing and keep that image as a restore image.
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post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Also, even non archane workflows may get worms viruses spyware or whatever and generally when cleaning up from that, the last thing you should use is a restore partition -- the bad ware could have jumped to that, just like it can jump accross to infect boot sectors or EFI if it were sophisticated enough. Just because Macs have been safe now doesnt mean anything for the future -- just look at the last few months, Apple for the first time I can remember faced crapware head on, didnt deny it or blame the dumbass users who ran the executibles from unknown sites, they just fixed it for them...some of these will not be fixable without reinstall at some point and this move away from media makes that hard to do. Furthermore, once a computer is compromised with unknown software, it really cant ever be assumed secure again untill; the entire drive, all partitions, are wiped and completely reloaded from nothing.

From what I understand, there is an additional Internet recovery option built into the firmware to support recovery in case of a complete disk disk crash, however I fail to see how that would work with a wifi-only Mac (assuming the owner doesn't have a dongle).

I am also not happy about the lack of a physical backup/restore media for a couple of reasons.
1. The recovery partition doesn't have the reset password app anymore (for obvious reasons). It was a helpful utility.

2. There is no way to clone the Mac OS X Lion HD to another one without loosing the Restore Partition altogether (using apps like Carbon Copy Cloner).

I know that there will be a USB Flash drive with Lion on it for $60 in August, but that's still $90 to get as much as a $30 Install DVD
post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

OK, my workflow may be out of date or not the same thing that the kids are doing, but the fact is, a certain percentage of hard disks (solid or spinning) will fail at some point...if my relative/friend/coworker/client needs a disk replaced, how do I do that on a Mac now? On Windows PCs even without included restore media, its rather easy for the proverbial "neighborhood techie" to fix, just slap in any Windows media that matches the license tag on the device, install and use the key found on the label to activate...

Here’s how you do that on the new Air:

1. You can get replacement Air drives from OWC, or just have Apple do the repair under warranty. The drive is not soldered.

2. Now hold down a certain key during startup (works even with a dead or brand-new drive!) and you’ll get similar options to the ones you used to get from DVD. You can reformat/secure-erase your drive for sale, or install the new one. All wirelessly, with no media.

The download won’t be quick, but the process IS easy—easier than Windows.

(But there are other options too! You can also burn your own bootable Lion DVD pretty easily, or—in August—buy Lion on thumbdrive. But be warned: you won’t get the same steeply-slashed price you get from the App Store. Apple really wants to encourage the more more modern method: online installation. So while Lion on Thumbdrive is still insanely cheap for a major OS release, it’s more than the download.)
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Heres how you do that on the new Air:

1. You can get replacement Air drives from OWC, or just have Apple do the repair under warranty. The drive is not soldered.

2. Now hold down a certain key during startup (works even with a dead or brand-new drive!) and youll get similar options to the ones you used to get from DVD. You can reformat/secure-erase your drive for sale, or install the new one. All wirelessly, with no media.

The download wont be quick, but the process IS easyeasier than Windows.

(But there are other options too! You can also burn your own bootable Lion DVD pretty easily, orin Augustbuy Lion on thumbdrive. But be warned: you wont get the same steeply-slashed price you get from the App Store. Apple really wants to encourage the more more modern method: online installation. So while Lion on Thumbdrive is still insanely cheap for a major OS release, its more than the download.)

Why would it be slow.
post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you are forgetting that computers are multi-function devices that aim to please a lot of folks.

Deriding it for not fitting into a workflow as arcane and obscure as yours is not really fair. Do most people worry about CIA level security on their computers? No. Are most people paranoid enough to do what you do with the wiping etc.? No.

Almost no one else would have a problem with the way in which the OS goes on the disc or the wiping and re-install options. Your an extreme "edge-case" at best and there are easy ways to do what you want anyway.

If you're going to sell your computer, you should be worried about wiping it clean. If not, you deserve what you get.
post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntson View Post

Why would it be slow.

Because it's 4 GB to download Lion - that's many hours on a 1.5 Mbps connection. If you have a 50Mbps connection, it wouldn't be slow.
post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post

From what I understand, there is an additional Internet recovery option built into the firmware to support recovery in case of a complete disk disk crash, however I fail to see how that would work with a wifi-only Mac (assuming the owner doesn't have a dongle).

I am also not happy about the lack of a physical backup/restore media for a couple of reasons.
1. The recovery partition doesn't have the reset password app anymore (for obvious reasons). It was a helpful utility.

2. There is no way to clone the Mac OS X Lion HD to another one without loosing the Restore Partition altogether (using apps like Carbon Copy Cloner).

I know that there will be a USB Flash drive with Lion on it for $60 in August, but that's still $90 to get as much as a $30 Install DVD

It's actually going to be $69.99, but that's not in addition to the Lion download - it's instead of the Lion download (it includes the purchase price for Lion).
post #22 of 79
This is the second performance review I have seen of the new MacBook Airs and again only the 13" Airs are listed in the performance comparisons. Do the 11" Airs compare so poorly that no one wants to review them??
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Because it's 4 GB to download Lion - that's many hours on a 1.5 Mbps connection. If you have a 50Mbps connection, it wouldn't be slow.

And I love how in the Lion movie on Apple's site, it magically downloads at about a gigaBYTE per second... wirelessly... for the sake of the timing of the video.
post #24 of 79
edits
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beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I tend to agree with the former. I suppose anything on physical media is becoming irrelevant nowadays, but I would have appreciated (at least on build-to-order) an option to include it. Usually the first thing I do on a new Mac is wipe it out a couple times to test the re-install process. Since I'm purchasing Lion for my 2009 i7 iMac, I'll just make a boot disk when I download it. I'll wait and see as to how much actual space the recovery partition is. 256GB is not much in the big picture.

I can't find the reference right now, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the restore partitions on the new Air and Mac mini are under a GiB (<- trying to use the correct lingo ).

So the good news is that it won't take up too much of the SSD space. But the bad news is there is no way that is the entire system restore (OS, apps, utilities, printer drivers, etc). I suspect it's just the core OS components and that you'll need to download the rest after you've restored the base OS to the drive. So the restore could take a very, very long time to complete because you still have to download the majority of the install. And another minor issue might be if Apple only provides the latest version of each component. So if you were holding off upgrading some app or OS update for whatever reason (ie, it breaks one of your 3rd party apps) you may be out of luck.
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

I dont like the no recovery media part... that should be included even if it isnt "cool" or whatever and it couldnt cost more than $2-3$ -- what if the internal drive fails? what if the user wants to wipe and reload before sale (and when I say wipe and reload, i dont mean just blast an image on from a recovery partition. What I mean is use a program like DBAN to wipe the entire disk to DoD spec as I do when selling old gear or even giving it to family)


I expect no media or some crappy DIY solution when I am buying a $300 netbook, I do not expect this from Apples pricey ultra portable line.

You can wipe the drive clean before a sale. The recovery partition is hidden. Do a DBAN wipe. No problem
or:
Install over internet. One of the most cool features with 10.7 is that Apple has its own Jumpastart technology. With the right boot keys you can install directly from Apples servers. I do think you need Apple care for this option.

If you really want a 10.7 dvd. Just burn one.
post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

OK, my workflow may be out of date or not the same thing that the kids are doing, but the fact is, a certain percentage of hard disks (solid or spinning) will fail at some point...if my relative/friend/coworker/client needs a disk replaced, how do I do that on a Mac now? On Windows PCs even without included restore media, its rather easy for the proverbial "neighborhood techie" to fix, just slap in any Windows media that matches the license tag on the device, install and use the key found on the label to activate...

Also, even non archane workflows may get worms viruses spyware or whatever and generally when cleaning up from that, the last thing you should use is a restore partition -- the bad ware could have jumped to that, just like it can jump accross to infect boot sectors or EFI if it were sophisticated enough. Just because Macs have been safe now doesnt mean anything for the future -- just look at the last few months, Apple for the first time I can remember faced crapware head on, didnt deny it or blame the dumbass users who ran the executibles from unknown sites, they just fixed it for them...some of these will not be fixable without reinstall at some point and this move away from media makes that hard to do. Furthermore, once a computer is compromised with unknown software, it really cant ever be assumed secure again untill; the entire drive, all partitions, are wiped and completely reloaded from nothing.

Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...

1) Your argument doesn't hold water. These machines don't have hard disk drives so the likelihood of a disk failure is low. You might as well argue that every other component on the device should be user replaceable because it too could potentially fail.

2) If you want write 1's to the drive 1, 3, 7 or more times you can certainly do so right from Disk Utility in the Recovery HD partition. You can then reinstall Mac OS X Lion right from the Recovery HD partition.

3) If you don't have the bandwidth for this download you are certainly welcome to burn a DVD, or copy to an SD card or USB flash drive, or external HDD, or external SSD, or to another partition within the internal SSD the InstallESD.dmg bootable installer.

4) If for some reason that doesn't work for you yet I'd think those that care about DoD-level security to know how to do those simple steps you can send to Apple or bring into a Genius Bar to reinstall, or pay for a Lion USB drive, though by the time you are likely finished with this product you may want to instead put the latest OS on the machine.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I can't find the reference right now, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the restore partitions on the new Air and Mac mini are under a GiB (<- trying to use the correct lingo ).

So the good news is that it won't take up too much of the SSD space. But the bad news is there is no way that is the entire system restore (OS, apps, utilities, printer drivers, etc). I suspect it's just the core OS components and that you'll need to download the rest after you've restored the base OS to the drive. So the restore could take a very, very long time to complete because you still have to download the majority of the install. And another minor issue might be if Apple only provides the latest version of each component. So if you were holding off upgrading some app or OS update for whatever reason (ie, it breaks one of your 3rd party apps) you may be out of luck.

It's 650MB. It doesn't contain any core OS components unless you count what is needed to let you run Safari* from Recovery HD partition.

You still have to install Lion again from some other source, either first downloading from Apple's servers or using one of the many options to install it to the desired volume from the installer on another volume, either external or internal.

PS: Be sure you make a copy of the "Install Mac OS X.app" file before you do the upgrade so you can have a copy of it for later.


* I wonder if that is more efficient on power usage than running Safari from the main OS. If so, by how much time for normal browsing?
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post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...

BMW offers cars with run-flat tires and no spare. I don't know about Lexus.
post #30 of 79
I'm pretty sure I'm going to pick one up on Apple Financing in October, depends on if I can get a weekend job when I get back to University. Plan is to get it and use it as my browsing and document editing machine, and upgrade the MBP's RAM (To 8GB) and turn it into a desktop replacement for video editing, games and managing my iTunes Library.

That way I can put the Pro in "Better Performance" mode permanently so it'll be less of a hassle when I have a video to edit or a game to play.

As for the Air, I'll probably be going for the 11" with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage. Dunno if I'll take the stock 1.6GHz Core i5 or upgrade to the 1.8GHz Core i7, probably decide based on benchmarks or something. DO love the little beauties. Picking them up in stores, just blows my mind how light they are.

MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's 650MB. It doesn't contain any core OS components unless you count what is needed to let you run Safari* from Recovery HD partition.

You still have to install Lion again from some other source, either first downloading from Apple's servers or using one of the many options to install it to the desired volume from the installer on another volume, either external or internal.

PS: Be sure you make a copy of the "Install Mac OS X.app" file before you do the upgrade so you can have a copy of it for later.


* I wonder if that is more efficient on power usage than running Safari from the main OS. If so, by how much time for normal browsing?

And if you aren't upgrading but bought a new Mac? You don't have anything to make a backup from! Not to mention, if I have to download the OS (I assume Apple will let me download it for free?) that means I need to use my AppleID, correct? And then be prepared to wait. And I then assume the installation of Lion on that computer is now tied to my AppleID? What if I'm planning on selling it? Can I wipe my personal information which I had to provide to install the OS before selling it? Is my $1000 Mac now permanently tied to my Apple ID just like my 99 cent iTunes song?

I presume Apple has thought these scenarios through, but only time will tell (because Apple almost never does). If there's not a way to anonymously install the OS to prepare the computer for resale, that's a major fail on Apple's part.

The ironic thing is that the low prices on the Air and the mini means they are a good option for folks who don't have a lot of extra money to spend and whose computer usage isn't all that heavy. That's the exact same folks who are less likely to have a fast internet connection.

Yes, I understand Apple's desire to move forward. But would it have killed them to throw the USB installer in the box? It would cost them next to nothing and it would in no way impede their forward progress. It's the removal of the optical drive that will move people to the Mac App store, not the lack of a USB OS installer. That missing component in no way promotes Apple's desired future state.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mex4eric View Post

This is the second performance review I have seen of the new MacBook Airs and again only the 13" Airs are listed in the performance comparisons. Do the 11" Airs compare so poorly that no one wants to review them??

There's one here: http://www.apple.com/macbookair/performance.html (One can make absolute inferences from past performance speed comparisons between the 11 and the 13, and this data).

I see no reason not to believe it.
post #33 of 79
The performance of the machines look great, but it could be deceptive. The laptops scale down performance if in danger of overheating, or so Apple claims. So my question is this; What is the performance of these laptops like when used for an extended period of time. Like with, for example, a game.
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by willyme View Post

The performance of the machines look great, but it could be deceptive. The laptops scale down performance if in danger of overheating, or so Apple claims. So my question is this; What is the performance of these laptops like when used for an extended period of time. Like with, for example, a game.

Gaming. On a MacBook Air.
post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...

You really are behind the times, mate. BMW hasn't included spares in years. The run flat tires are good for 50 miles at 50MPH.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by willyme View Post

The performance of the machines look great, but it could be deceptive. The laptops scale down performance if in danger of overheating, or so Apple claims. So my question is this; What is the performance of these laptops like when used for an extended period of time. Like with, for example, a game.

True. The GPU on Sandy Bridge also uses Turbo Boost only when the TDP from the rest of the processor allows it, so in scenarios when both cores and the GPU are loaded will the GPU perform worse?
post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


Apple not including media is like Lexus or BMW not including a spare tire...

BMWs haven't had spare tires for years.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by willyme View Post

The performance of the machines look great, but it could be deceptive. The laptops scale down performance if in danger of overheating, or so Apple claims. So my question is this; What is the performance of these laptops like when used for an extended period of time. Like with, for example, a game.

I ran CS Source on MBP 2.3 i5 8GB and CPU went to 99 degrees or so, which is when the game started stuttering (don't worry the CPU is ok). Source is a very old FPS, so you can see that sandy bridge is not for sustained high end video processing. It is good in burst, which is good for iMovie/ iPhoto, but certainly not for games, unless you only play in 30 minute intervals.

I'm gonna head out to apple store soon to check out these machines (and do some maintenance on the mac), but I want the lion driven onslaught to end first.

PS I saw crisis running on MBP i5 4GB perfectly in bootcamp, but once again you dont wanna run it for too long.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #39 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I then assume the installation of Lion on that computer is now tied to my AppleID?

Nope. Like all previous Mac OS X releases, Lion contains no activation nor DRM. You need an AppleID to purchase Lion from the App Store. That's all.
post #40 of 79
And no mention or benchmarks of the 1.8 GHz i7 model.

As first reported by me on AppleInsider on 23 July 2011
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